UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center director named
Gary England has been named director of the UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center in Hastings, Florida. The center is a resource for residents and agricultural producers in northeast Florida, a region known for both potatoes and surging urban development.
“We are extremely pleased to have Gary England serve in this new leadership role at Hastings,” said Nick Place, dean of UF/IFAS Extension. “Gary brings a wealth of experience in agriculture, applied research and farm management. He has outstanding skills and expertise to ensure that we have a strong and impactful program at our Hastings facility that addresses the current and emerging needs of agricultural producers in northeast Florida.”
England, who grew up in Ohio, attended the University of Florida as an undergraduate with the goal of becoming a golf course superintendent. After working in the golf industry, he returned to UF to earn a master’s degree in weed science.
Before becoming director, England worked as a multi-county UF/IFAS Extension agent in both Sumter and Lake Counties, where he specialized in commercial horticulture and fruit crops, respectively. In addition to being UF/IFAS HAEC director, England will also act as a regional specialized agent for the UF/IFAS Extension central district.
England has received several awards from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents as well as numerous honors from state and local organizations.
Earlier in his career working in private industry, England enjoyed working with farmers in the tri-county area. “I was very impressed with the agricultural industry in the area and its importance to the local and regional economy,” he said. “I look forward to working with our excellent group of Extension agents who work with local producers. I’m also looking forward to working with our researchers as they evaluate new cultivars, sustainable production methods, pest management and much more.”
One of England’s goals is to expand the reach of the facility and its faculty. “I want to continue to work with Extension agents and specialists in the tri-county area to present a well-rounded program,” he said. “We will strive to foster collaborations with agents focused on agricultural production and those involved in other disciplines, such as family and consumer sciences, and natural resources, to best serve our clientele.”
By: Samantha Grenrock, 352-294-3307, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Gary England, 904-692-4944, email@example.com
Nick Place, 352-392-1761, firstname.lastname@example.org